Carrying my infant daughter in her car seat, I walked into a room to meet with my doctor about getting a vasectomy. As I placed my daughter’s car seat on the ground, the doctor’s assistant looked at me and asked, “You don’t want any more of those?” “I’m done,” I replied. Inside though, I thought, “Yeah, I would like some more babies.” But, ultimately, I decided to go ahead and have a vasectomy.
Here are the reasons that led me to the decision.
- A gray nose hair: Nose hair is no big deal, but a gray nose hair is huge. And it wasn’t a normal nose hair. It was one of those giant hairs where you wake up one day and wonder how it could have possibly popped out of your nose so quickly. Seriously, it looked as though the nose hair ate one of Jack’s magic beans. Anyway, there it was. A big giant gray hair. I’m no stranger to gray hairs, as I am getting more and more of them. But a gray nose hair? That was a slap in my crows-footed face — time is no longer on my side.
- Last year I had to get a colonoscopy. Now, I know that some “young’uns” get colonoscopies from time to time for various reasons, but most people usually don’t need to get one until they are of a certain age. Well, I was of a certain age. I no longer go to the doctor and explain a pain, only to have him say, “You’re too young for that.” Instead, the doctor says to me, “You need to get that checked out.” Mortality has set in.
- I have a shoulder injury that dates back to high school. Nine years ago I had my shoulder operated on, but it still troubles me from time to time. Because babies need to be bounced, rocked, and held in various locked positions; my shoulders hurt all the time. Once a baby moves past the bouncing around stage, my shoulders relax and the pain subsides.
- We have 4 kids. Having more would be collecting. And we live in New York City where space is limited. It seems impossible to walk through my house without having to suck my gut in so I can get around someone or something. Going out to eat with a family of six is expensive and often two tables must be put together to accommodate all of us. And don’t get me started on all the laundry.
- I have said many times before that men need to step up when it comes to family planning. Often times with couples, men expect women to be responsible for family planning, whether “the Pill,” IUDs, sterilization, or other forms of birth control. It was time for me to practice what I preach.
Do I regret making the decision? My shoulder hurts right now because my baby is teething and I must bounce her constantly to help ease her pain. There’s your answer.
I doubt that I am going to wish for more babies. There will probably be times when I see a dad with a new baby and jealousy might sneak up, but I’ll remember that the moment is his. My time was great and I’ll miss it, but life moves on. And I’d like to take my shoulders with it.
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